Our Sage Green Nursery Built-Ins
I think it’s only fitting that we’re chatting about our new green addition on this St. Patrick’s Day! Our sage green nursery built-ins have been installed for a couple of weeks now and it’s about time I share all of the details. To be honest, I wanted to make sure I was done sharing our office built-ins before diving into the scoop on these in the nursery, because it could have gotten really confusing talking about both, simultaneously. Now that the office is finished, it’s time to focus my full attention on our baby girl’s nursery.
Yesterday, I revealed my plan for the nursery space including the color palette and DIY projects we are planning to complete in here. The nursery built-ins are a huge part of that plan since they’ll be the focal point of the room. Before I share them, all done, in the nursery, let’s back up and talk about why I chose these, how I designed them, and the entire installation process.
Deciding on Nursery Built-Ins
Clearly, you guys know I have a thing for built-ins since I’ve had them in every single home. I think they’re a great addition to any home because they add interest, character, and provide plenty of storage. Plus, they increase the value of your home. I truly believe the family room built-ins from our condo helped sell our place. They were a showstopping focal point!
When I started planning the nursery design, I thought it might be fun to do built-ins around the arched window in here. That way, I could have bookcases and cabinets on each side, flanking the window (yay for storage and a spot to display cute baby items!). Plus, the window was the perfect height for a window seat bench, right underneath. I’ve always pictured myself sitting here with my daughter, reading books and looking out the window at the neighborhood below. I mean, it doesn’t get more sentimental than that!
So I knew the built-ins needed to happen, but how were we going to make them happen?!
Designing the Built-Ins
There was no way Finn and I had the bandwidth to tackle two built-in projects at once, so we decided to hire this job out. We ended up saving lots of money building the office ones ourselves (you can read more about those savings here!), so spending some money on this made sense to us. Finding a carpenter to build something like this can be tricky and often times it doesn’t include painting, so you have to find another person for that. We decided to buy custom cabinets (already painted) and have our contractor install them.
I headed to the Kitchen Design Center at my local Lowe’s Home Improvement to chat with their kitchen designer. I worked with Joseph (at the Wicker Park store) a couple of times in the past (he is the best!), and figured it was worth it to see if he could help me with something like this. I went in with all of my measurements and inspiration pictures, and we sat down for a couple of hours to chat.
While Joseph typically spends his days designing kitchens for customers, Lowe’s designers are also able to help with other custom cabinetry projects for FREE. I perused cabinetry options and colors while he whipped up a design on his computer. Here’s what we settled on…
We decided on bookshelves on each side of the window, with cabinets beneath. Under the window will be two drawers for even more storage! The bottom cabinets are 24 inches deep, while the bookcases are 12 inches deep (you can see all dimensions in the illustrations above).
I looked at lots of sage green options from various cabinet lines at Lowe’s. In the end, I decided to go with the Kraftmaid line because it was a better price than the other collections.
I took some samples home so I could see the light in the nursery, and I decided on the color “Bonsai” in their suede sheen. Once I had the color chosen, we placed the order. The design rep at Lowe’s handles the order, making sure you buy enough crown molding, toe kick, filler pieces, etc. Everything comes all in one order and then you can do the installation.
The cabinet order took four weeks to come in and in the meantime, I had my contractor come over to check out the space. Installation is not included with the cabinetry order, so you’ll either have to install it all yourself or hire it out. Our biggest issue was the fact that we had an awkward window on the right side of the wall.
This window really didn’t serve much of a purpose. It was high, so you couldn’t see out of it. And while it let in some light, the arched window provided a majority of the light for the space. After chatting with my contractor, we decided that we would cover the window, in order to allow the built-ins to fit in this space.
We discussed removing the window completely, but we weren’t able to accurately match the siding on the outside of the house and it would have been a lot pricier. Instead, we decided to keep the window, insulate it, and cover it with drywall. My biggest concern was what it would look like from the outside of the house. Luckily, it just looks like a window shade is pulled down and you can’t see into the room.
We will eventually come up with a plan for this when we tackle the exterior of our house, but for now, it works for us! It took my contractor and his team one full-day to install the built-ins and cover the window. I was amazed by how fast they installed them. Let’s take a look at them now…
Our New Nursery Built-Ins
Aren’t they gorgeous? Finn and I joked that while it took us 54 hours to build the office built-ins, these were up in one day. Ha! But really, I breathed such a sigh of relief once these were installed and looking good (without me having to do any of the back-breaking work).
The drawers under the window seat will be a great spot for toys or books for our baby girl. I’m excited to have lots of spots to hide things in here!
Here’s a look inside the cabinets. The three shelves are adjustable and super deep (24 inches). This will be the best secret storage ever!
The shelves on the bookshelves are also adjustable, although I like where they’re placed right now. Once I style these, I can see if I want to move them up or down at all.
Finding Gold Hardware
I’m going for traditional vibes in this room and I found these knobs from Lowe’s for a steal! Seriously, you can’t beat the price of this hardware. The detailing is gorgeous and the color goes well with the sage green.
It took me 10 minutes to install four of these and I’m so happy I chose these!
Tip: Make sure you buy hardware from the same line so the color matches. Sometimes, a brass in one brand will differ from the brass color in another. My knobs and pulls have the same color and traditional look, even though they’re completely different products.
Before & After
Here’s the room before phase one of our renovation. Complete with carpet, an outdated ceiling fan, and wood trim.
Here’s our blank slate of a room when we moved in after construction.
And here’s what it looks like now! I’m relieved that there is still plenty of light in this space from the large arched window.
Now, the scoop you’ve all been waiting for…how much did this all cost? I will say that pricing can vary tremendously, based on the cabinets you choose, the color, the size, etc. I was leaning towards a different cabinet line at Lowe’s until I found out it was going to cost me double! I quickly came back to the Kraftmaid line (and I’m so happy I did!). Lowe’s also has lots of promotions throughout the year, so you can chat with your kitchen rep to see if there might be one coming up where you could get big savings!
- Custom Cabinets (including tax and shipping) – Around $5,000
- Installation (& window removal) – $600
These definitely were not cheap, but we felt they were so worth it in the long run. I’m so pleased with how these custom nursery built-ins turned out because they’re the focal point in this room. I’m confident we will love these for years to come!
As you could see in a few of these pictures, we already have the light fixture installed in here and I’m really into it! It casts a soft, glowy light at night. I also finally figured out a plan for the window treatments (that arched window is tough!) and I’ll share more about that soon. The woman making the window treatments is going to create a window seat bench for this area, so that should arrive fairly soon too. Then, just imagine the cute colorful pillows on top. Eek, it makes me so happy!
Now that the built-ins are in, we can finally finish up the rest of the room. Next week, I’ll share the chair rail we added to the rest of the walls in here along with the furniture we chose for the space. Nesting mode has officially started!
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.